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Dassault chief to be in Delhi to discuss delay in MMRCA deal

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The Dassault Rafale fighter. A Dassault Aviation photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Chief of French firm Dassault Aviation, which has been selected for supplying 126 medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF), will be in New Delhi later this week to meet top Defence Ministry officials to discuss delays in finalisation of the multi-billion dollar contract.

The firm was selected two years back by India for supplying 126 Rafale medium-multirole combat aircraft to the Air Force.

The firm's CEO Eric Trippier is scheduled to meet top Defence Ministry officials to discuss issues related to finalisation of the much-delayed contract, sources said.

India and the French firm have been discussing the deal for over two years.

The negotiations have lately slowed down over some issues, including the imposition of liquidity damages or penalties for any delays in the supply of the aircraft to be manufactured in the country.

The cost of the biggest-ever single deal is also likely to come up for discussion during the two sides.

India had selected the French Rafale combat aircraft after an over five year process where five other firms including American F/A-18 and F-16, Russian MiG 35, European Eurofighter and Swedish Saab Gripen were also in the race.

However, the process of finalising the contract has been quite slow and still the role and responsibilities to be shared between the state-owned HAL and Dassault Aviation have not been fully agreed upon.

Out of the 126 aircraft to be manufactured for the IAF, 18 are proposed to be supplied directly by the French from their facilities in France whereas the remaining 108 are planned to be built at HAL facilities in Bangalore.

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